Since nannies and au pairs typically launder the children's clothing during the work week, it's a great opportunity to get the kids involved in learning a necessary life skill. Here's how kids can help nannies and au pairs do laundry.
SORTING: Kids love helping sort the laundry into whites, darks, bright colors, and so on. It is easier if they have a hamper that is divided so they can easily sort whites and colors.
PRETREAT STAINS: Kids as young as five-years-old can use a stain stick to treat stains before tossing them into the hamper. Before washing you should also spray with stain remover.
CHECK POCKETS: Before washing clothing check pockets for gum, tissues, crayons, and so on.
TURNING KNOBS: Always wash dark colors on COLD/COLD because dark colors bleed in warmer water. Wash white clothing on WARM/COLD.
POUR DETERGENT: For young children you can pour and measure the detergent for them and allow them to pour it into the machine. If they have the strength and a steady hand they can measure and pour liquid detergent as well.
WET CLOTHES INTO DRYER: Remove the laundry a few pieces at a time and hand it to the child. He can shake them out to remove all washer-induced twisting, and place them in the dryer. Some clothing will need to be line dried. Show them how to hang clothing properly so that it can dry quickly on a clothesline.
CLEAN OUT LINT FILTER: You must clean out the lint filter between each drying to prevent fires.
FOLD THE LAUNDRY: Children of any age can help match socks. Proper folding of clothes may be tricky for youngsters but once kids are 8-years old or so they certainly can fold clothes properly.
PUT FOLDED CLOTHES AWAY IN DRAWERS: It's even easier to put folded clothes away in drawers than actually neatly folding clothing.
SAFETY FIRST: Explain to children that they must never, ever play around the laundry machines. They are not permitted to use the laundry washing machine or dryer without adult supervision. Never allow a child to help iron.
Do you only launder the children's clothes or do you wash the parents laundry also?